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"Best weekend of the summer"

“GMAC is a challenge! You'll see.”

"An amazing way to spend a weekend with friends"

 

CASH
PRIZE

 

$9,850

(final cash pot for 2017)

 

ADVENTURERS
REGISTERED

 

1,725

(making 2017 the largest year yet)

 

CHARITY
RAISED

 

$9,850

(thank you!)

 

FULLY SOLVED

 

253 teams

(out of 1,725 people that started)

 

FASTEST TIME

 

26.25 hrs

(a record)

 

ALL-TIME

 

8,000+

(since 2012...)

 

fantasyThe Green Mountain Adventure Challenge is an epic real-life action-adventure game that takes place in the gorgeous Green Mountains of Vermont. You begin with a mystifying backstory filled with mysterious riddles and clues...

Adventure trail

adventure... and if you can solve them, the solutions will take you on an incredible journey uncovering a secret world hidden among the ancient Vermont forests, mysterious mountains, and even with the locals you meet.

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fortuneA cash prize awaits those who complete the challenge, but perhaps the best part is the satisfaction you'll feel being among the elite few to solve a series of mind-bending puzzles and discover a secret world hidden in plain sight!

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2017 adventure challenge backstory

THE 2018 ADVENTURE CHALLENGE BACKSTORY WILL BE POSTED IN SPRING OF 2018.

THIS STORY BELOW WAS THE BACKSTORY FOR THE 2017 ADVENTURE CHALLENGE WHICH ENDED SEPT 4TH, 2017.

 

newspaper webHere’s how this all came about:

A local Dover resident was putting up wallpaper in a very old house in town when his hand went straight through the paper-thin wall. Inside were hundreds of old newspapers in nearly perfect condition!

It was very common to use newspaper as insulation in old homes in this area, so there was nothing special about this discovery – until he began to sort them. Among the news stories he found one sheet with random writings, riddles that alluded to old masonic families, and images of long lost objects.

Staring at it for hours, he suddenly remembered the childhood tale told around these mountains about the home’s prior mysterious owner who was rumored to be so wealthy that he hid his fortunes where only the few people wise enough to find them could enjoy them. It was a silly old wives’ tale used to get children to do their homework so that they could one day Adventure out to find the missing fortune.

It wasn’t a true story.

It couldn't possibly be a true story... or is it?

Random coded messages, magnificent natural wonders, challenging riddles, historical tales and more await you as you discover and solve one of Vermont’s greatest untold Adventure tales – the Legend of Cooper Hill - encapsulating the history, culture and natural beauty of various towns around the area. Have fun out there!

 

NOTICE

THERE IS NO GUARANTEE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SOLVE THE CHALLENGE.

IT REQUIRES A BASIC LEVEL OF MENTAL TOUGHNESS, PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS, PHYSICAL FITNESS, AND EMOTIONAL PATIENCE. IF YOU GET LOST OR STUCK AND CANNOT SOLVE THE NEXT RIDDLE, YOU WILL HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THE ANSWERS ARE POSTED IN SEPTEMBER TO LEARN WHAT YOU COULD NOT FIGURE OUT ON YOUR OWN.

ONCE YOU BEGIN YOU CAN RETURN AS OFTEN AS YOU LIKE TO CONTINUE FROM WHERE YOU LEFT OFF. YOU HAVE UNTIL LABOR DAY TO COMPLETE IT.

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WHEN IS THE ADVENTURE CHALLENGE? 

The 2018 Adventure Challenge season is open 7 days a week from Friday, May 25th until Monday, Sept 3rd, 2018.

You can register and begin the Challenge today or any day, including weekdays and weekends, until the Challenge season closes on Sept 3rd. Regardless of when you begin, you have until Sept 3rd to complete it.

HOW DO I REGISTER & CHECK AVAILABILITY? 

1) Buy your Adventure Getaway Package for two people here!

2) Call one of the 7 Adventure inns included in the package to book your lodging dates. When you arrive at the inn, they will tell you where to begin and pick up your clues and gear.

**The Adventure Challenge game itself has unlimited availablity every day and does not sell out. You do not need to call or make reservations with us.**

WHAT'S IN THE ADVENTURE GETAWAY PACKAGE?

The Getaway Package is $419 total (plus tax) for 2 people and includes 2 nights lodging, breakfast each day, a lunch, the Adventure and more. Specifically:

  • 2 nights (weekends and/or midweeks) anytime during Adventure Season from May 25th-Sept 3rd, 2018, for 2 people in a standard room at any of the Adventure Inns
  • 2 Adventure Passes
  • Breakfast for 2 each morning and a light trail lunch for 2 one day
  • Adventure kit for two that includes 2 shirts, 2 water bottles, 2 backpacks, 2 notebooks with pens
  • $10 donation to our selected charity
  • $10 donation to the grand prize cash pot
  • Kids 15 and under are free to join their parents
  • Minimum of two registered adults per package
  • Additional charges for extra people, pets and upgrades may apply at innkeeper's discretion
  • Vermont state lodging tax will be collected by the innkeeper

WHAT KINDS OF MENTAL AND PHYSICAL CHALLENGES?

Hiking mountain summits, solving mathematical codes and riddles, decoding vague old maps, finding your way through dense Vermont forest and other challenges await. At some point, you may end up lost and confused and want to give up - that's when the real challenge begins. Only about 15% of the thousands that begin the Challenge solve it each year.

WHAT KINDS OF GEAR DO I NEED TO BRING WITH ME?

  • Comfortable shoes and outdoor clothing
  • Camera
  • A car to get around the area
  • Bug spray
  • A compass (optional)
  • Any other items you think may help along the way

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE?

The fastest time so far this year is just under 30 hours start to finish.

WHERE IN VERMONT DOES IT TAKE PLACE?

The Adventure Challenge takes place in the town of Dover, Vermont and surrounding towns.

WHAT IF WE HAVE MORE THAN 2 PEOPLE?

Each Adventure Getaway Package includes two nights lodging in one standard room for two people. Some inns may allow extra people in the room at no additional charge, you'll need to ask the innkeeper. If you need a second room, you'll need to buy a second Getaway Package.

After you have secured your rooms, buy any additional Adventure passes for the extra people. Remember, each Adventure Getaway Package includes two Adventure passes - so if you have 3 people in a room, you need to buy 1 extra Adventure pass.

WHAT IF I DON'T NEED TO STAY AT AN INN?

You are not required to purchase the Getaway Package to do the Adventure Challenge.

If you already have another place to stay in the area, you just need to purchase individual Adventure passes which are $95 each.

If you want the complete kit with a tshirt, backpack, water bottle and notebook, you can add that on as an option.

You can purchase passes only here.

CAN MY CHILDEN JOIN ME ON THE ADVENTURE?

Yes, children may join their parents on the Adventure. Due to the difficult nature of the challenges, children under 18 must have a parent with them at all times.

Children age 15 and under are free and donot require Adventure passes.

WHAT IF SOMEONE COMPLETES THE CHALLENGE BEFORE ME?

The clues and secret objects to be found are permanent and will be there for you to find no matter when you begin. This is not a first come, first serve event. No one can take them away.

 

2017 ADVENTURE CHALLENGE WALKTHROUGH

THE LEGEND OF COOPER HILL: EXPLAINED

   

You begin by receiving the old newspaper at the West Dover Inn, which was one of the original meeting houses in town where people came together to eat, drink and share stories about mysterious happenings around the valley. The newspaper itself was recently found hidden among a stash of hundreds of old papers in the attic walls of a house up on Cooper Hill, confirming an old urban legend about FreeMasons secrets hidden around our Vermont valley.

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PART I: THE SECRET OBJECTS (could be done in any order)

You could enter the game in a few places but the most effective way was to read it like a normal paper, starting at the top left headline.

  • Follow Mead's journey up Mt. Pisgah (aka, Mt. Snow) where the local Master Mason, Mr. Childs, sent him to survey the surrounding valleys. On the summit you find Mead's Wooden Mallet in a grove of trees overlooking the northwest corner. He had carved the number 40 into it (the "4" was carved, the "0" was the knob in the mallet itself).
  • Follow Child's journey up Haystack Mountain, cross the glacier rock gap, and find Child's Kerosene Can on which he carved 72 into the top. Following the instructions on the paper, you take this information to the Dover General Store (aka, The Hub).
  • At the Hub you find McKim's Architect's Chest with the degrees/minutes/seconds symbols for latitude and longitude that he carved into the bottom drawer. This tells you that the 6 empty lines on the top right of the paper and the numbers you've found represent coordinates.
  • Follow Cooper's journey home up Hathway trail after meeting with Mr. Childs at the tavern. The heavy rains washed out the roads, forcing Cooper to spend an overnight camping next to the Johnson Hill Cemetery. There you find Cooper's Miner's Axe just outside the cemetery walls with the number 42 that Childs gave to Cooper at the tavern while they shared a fine beer.
  • At this point there are two more photos of objects to find: the weird one in between PS (Pisgah Summit) and HS (Haystack Summit), and then the Masonic lodge symbol. Both are located on the same block in Wilmington. The mysterious lantern on the horse trough in front of the library is confirmed to be the correct one by the "How Dear To My Heart..." quote on the top of the newspaper matching the one carved into its stone base.

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  • Around the corner from the library is Child's Masonic Lodge #38.

 

PART II: THE MIND GAMES (must be done in consecutive order)

Having found the six secret objects, the Challenge shifts to mind games.

  • While designing the layout of his properties in Wilmington, Mr. Childs used some simple geometry that the Masons hold to be mystical. Referenced throughout the paper is Child's design of his home, his lodge and his new amusement hall (aka, Memorial Hall). He positioned these 3 equidistant from each other, forming an equaliateral triangle.
  • At the center of these locations is the town block surrounded by the roads Beaver, River, Church and Main. According to the Wilmington map on the newspaper, there are 10 buildings on this block, making "10" the quantity of east (right) and west (left) differences from the Masonic number (38) in the center of the trio. So 38 - 10 = 28, and 38 + 10 = 48.
  • The north difference is an additive one of self-reflection. With 38 being the central number, you go up by the 1/2 given to you, which is 19, and add it to 38, giving you 57. "Additive one of self-reflection of 1/2" is a fancy way of saying multiply by 1.5
  • You now have all 6 secret coordinates to fill in the 6 lines on the top right of the newspaper: 42, 72, 40, 28, 48, 57. Using basic logic of latitude and longitude (or the red tshirts in The Hub next to the Architect's Chest) you can easily figure out the order of the first 4 coordinates: 42 and 57 N, 72 and 48 W. The last two coordinates (28 and 40) are found by simple trial and error. The correct combination is 42 degrees 57 minutes 28 seconds North, 72 degrees 48 minutes 40 seconds West.
  • When you arrive at this coordinate you find the Mason's Treasure Chest - but it's locked!

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  • A fellow Dover, Vermont secondhome owner, and Mason, Theodore Roosevelt, kept a riddle with him: "The Key to the Lock is at the center of it all." Use the solution to this riddle to open the chest. What's in the center of the newspaper? The compass. What's in the center of your tshirt, backpack, water bottle and notebook? The compass. And what's in the center of the compass.... a HEART (or LOVE). "Heart" also appears near the center of the quote on top of the newspaper. Heart/Love is at the center of it all.

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PART III: THE IMPOSSIBLE NUMBER

Finding and opening the treasure chest was the end of the "easy" level of this year's Challenge. From this point forward was extremely difficult, in an attempt to make the cash prize a large amount for each potential finisher.

  • Inside the treasure chest you find a note with a riddle and cipher to crack. The "Brotherly cipher" is the "Masonic Cipher" (aka, Pigpen Cipher). But how do you crack it? This famous cipher is well known and is sitting inside the Mason's book inside the library where you found the lantern. Just had to ask the librarian for it! Cracking it gives you "My Initials. Lodge No."
  • Childs wrote this note from his home in Wilmington and delivered it to Cooper that rainy night at the tavern to hide on his hill. Following the note to go South from where Child's wrote it in Wilmington there is only one road and it takes you to Jacksonville, VT where you find another Masonic Temple and the "Wise man" at the Jacksonville General Store. The family that owns the store has passed it down through the generations, keeping two Masonic secrets with them.
  • You tell the Wise Man the Initials, AB, and their local lodge number, 89, and in return they give you the secret measured leg: 7, which Mead measured for Childs.
  • Outside the store you find Child's lantern with his initials, A.B.C. carved into it.

 

At this point you have found all things there are to be found but two mind games remain: Drawing the Journey and solving the Impossible Number.

  • The Journey you are drawing is not your journey, but The Journey that Mead surveyed for Childs.
  • Using the two symbols on the grid and the one remaining bold headline on the newspaper are the keys to solving it. The lantern in the left column of the journey grid is positioned between the PS and HS on the left side of the newspaper, making the dot above it PS and the dot below it HS. This is the sightline Mead measured from Pisgah Summit to Haystack Summit. As referenced in the very first story, Mead then measured the main sighline east to the farmer's hill (Cooper Hill). That forms the right triangle between Pisgah, Haystack and Cooper Hill - an actual right traingle formed by these three peaks in real life. Amazing.

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  • The 2nd triangle is Child's equalateral triangle referenced throughout the story. This is where you use the "Eastern Vertices Meet" headline, drawing lines from Pisgah to Cooper Hill (overlapping the other triangle), from Cooper Hill to the lodge in Wilmington (Mason symbol), and from Wilmington to Pisgah. This was Mead's original assignment from Childs: to survey the area and find the location where he can build his lodge equidistant between Pisgah and Cooper Hill, which they achieved with astonishing accuracy, placing the Wilmington Masonic Lodge 7 miles from both Pisgah and Cooper Hill. Unfortunately, Mead's instruments were thrown off by the Iron mines on Pisgah and Cooper Hill, causing a mismeasurement between those two peaks. It's not 7 but more like 5.5 miles. This makes the real life triangle an isosceles, not an equilateral.
  • Now that you have the triangles, you can solve the last remaining length, the Impossible Number, the hypotenuse from Haystack to Cooper Hill. Do this using the formula Child left on his lantern in Jacksonville... A, B, C squared. A squared + B squared = C squared. Good 'ole Pythagoras Theorem - a favorite of the Masons.
  • But wait, you only have "A" which is the measured leg 7 from Pisgah to Cooper Hill. What's the length from Pisgah to Haystack?  It was preserved in the monument in front of the library. And it's printed right on the newspaper, of course, directly where it should be between the two peaks. Remember that mysterious lantern you found? It's not just a lantern, it's the number pi.
  • Solving for "C", that makes the impossible number the square root of 49 + pi squared. From that point, it was impossible for Mead to mathematically reduce it any further. (Masons used pure math, not modern day decimal representations.)

Mead presented these amazing natural, mystical phenomena of Pisgah and Haystack being separated by Pi, and the right triangle to Cooper Hill. Master Mason Childs loved Mead's amazing findings so much that he introduced him to his fellow Mason, Teddy Roosevelt, who was searching for an Architecture firm for a project he was working on in Washington DC - building the East Wing of the White House.

Through this Adventure you rediscovered these mens' journeys among our magical Vermont mountains that resulted in amazing natural wonders, and for Mead, McKim and White to build the East Wing of the present day White House in Washington DC for Roosevelt.

EASTER EGG: Per tradition, the ultimate end answer of the Challenge was hidden in the newspaper right from the start. The right triangle goes from the picture of the mallet, to the jug, to Cooper Hill. Pi is the lantern, and there are 7 columns across the paper.